With the offseason’s Hot Stove preparing to heat back up with the New Year, will the Colorado Rockies make any additional moves? And could one of those moves be acquiring a corner outfielder?
The answer to both questions is, “It’s possible.” However, with the Colorado Rockies recently signing Daniel Murphy to a two-year deal, it’s also possible that the Murphy move may shift Ian Desmond to the outfield, giving Colorado a Charlie Blackmon–David Dahl-Desmond outfield on Opening Day. Raimel Tapia, Noel Cuevas and even Garrett Hampson could also see time in the outfield in that scenario.
But what about another scenario where the Rockies make a trade for a power-hitting right-handed corner outfielder? That is a thought thrown out by MLBTradeRumors.com in this article, with a mention of Nicholas (Nick) Castellanos potentially being a fit for the Rockies in the outfield.
The 26-year-old Castellanos put up some impressive numbers at the plate for the Detroit Tigers last season, slashing .298/.354/.500 while logging an OPS of 130 with 23 home runs and 89 RBI. He also had 46 doubles, coming just one season after 36 doubles and an American League-leading 10 triples. Those numbers certainly sound good thinking of the possibility of extra-base hits at Coors Field.
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He is also entering his final year of arbitration meaning, much like Nolan Arenado, he will become eligible for free agency after this season. Knowing his offensive output and likely high price tag that is coming (after his projected $11.3 million salary this season), the Tigers are reportedly looking to trade him this offseason in exchange for prospects.
There is a lot to like about Castellanos … but there is a huge glitch when it comes to looking at how he would fit with a National League team like the Rockies. As our colleagues at MotorCityBengals.com put it in this article, “his defense is worrisome.” And with that sentence, they were being kind.
As MLBTradeRumors said in their article…
"“…his UZR/150 innings improved from -57.6 in 2017 to -12.3 last season – but he remains an underwhelming defensive performer…”"
It would be hard for the Rockies to hide Castellanos in right field, a position where Colorado will very likely miss the defense displayed by Carlos Gonzalez for so many years. Acquiring him would also mean Colorado trading prospects for a potential one-year rental. That is something that Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich has been unwilling to do.
While the thought of Castellanos being inserted into the Rockies lineup is tantalizing, it’s also unlikely to happen. The defensive liabilities and cost will likely keep any serious thought of Castellanos at Coors Field from becoming a reality.